But in the weeks and months that have followed the initial onset of the virus, as we settled into a country of two camps—one that follows the guidelines from high-ranking medical professionals, the other still vacationing and attending weddings—I’ve stopped counting. On the app, I typically would fall into a 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat range. A nicely balanced pie chart. But now, if I dared log in, it’d be overrun by baby blue carbs, a sliver of soft green protein, with barn-red fat filling out the rest.
At first, veering sharply off of my strict diet gave me contentment. I told myself the break from routine and schedule was but a minor disturbance, it was actually healthy to let loose, that I’d be back to the gym, weights pressed above my head in no time. I’d shop the healthy perimeter of the grocery again, the inner aisles of temptation avoided. I would be prudent with my appetite, dispense with my plenitude of carb-laden snacks. Like my struggle with weight, when we all emerged, I’d account for what has happened, how we traversed the rupture, and how it was remedied.
But here we are. Covid still lurks and it’s pumpkin beer season and I avoid the mirror after I shower. I tell myself Zoom adds 15 pounds but I know it’s a lie because the scale accurately flashes a weight that I haven’t seen in a decade. I’m not mad at myself or disappointed. I can’t help but be ambivalent to gaining back much of the weight. The food comforts me during this emotionally taxing event, as it once had in the lost years of my early 20s, walking the jail tiers. I embrace the edible company. For now, a stopgap. Tomorrow’s frozen pizza is a generous hug; this weekend’s charcuterie board a much-needed get together.